USA v. Joel Costilla
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [14-50826 Affirmed ] Judge: CDK , Judge: EGJ , Judge: CH Mandate pull date is 04/29/2015 for Appellant Joel Costilla [14-50826]
Date Filed: 04/08/2015
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
United States Court of Appeals
April 8, 2015
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Lyle W. Cayce
JOEL COSTILLA, also known as Sharky,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Western District of Texas
USDC No. 2:12-CR-1661-6
Before KING, JOLLY, and HAYNES, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM: *
Joel Costilla pleaded guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to conspiracy
to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering and
conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana. He
argues that the Government breached the plea agreement by not advising the
probation officer of any relevant facts that would have demonstrated
acceptance of responsibility on his part. Costilla did not argue in the district
Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH
CIR. R. 47.5.4.
Date Filed: 04/08/2015
court that the plea agreement was breached and, thus, we review for plain
error. See Puckett v. United States, 556 U.S. 129, 135-36 (2009).
In exchange for Costilla’s plea, the Government agreed not to challenge
any recommended findings in the Presentence Report (PSR) that Costilla’s
guideline offense be adjusted to reflect his acceptance of responsibility. The
agreement also provided that, if the court found that Costilla was entitled to
the adjustment and that his base offense level before the adjustment was at
least level 16, the Government agreed “to move for the third-level reduction at
the time of sentencing based on the defendant’s timely agreement to plead
Costilla’s argument that the Government had a duty under the plea
agreement to essentially advocate for a reduction for acceptance of
responsibility by providing “its version of the facts of [his] case” is not a
reasonable understanding of the plea agreement.
Gonzalez, 309 F.3d 882, 886 (5th Cir. 2002).
See United States v.
Further, the PSR did not
recommend that Costilla be awarded an adjustment for acceptance of
responsibility. Thus, there was no fulfillment of the condition that would have
triggered the Government’s obligation not to oppose a downward adjustment
and to move for an additional acceptance point. See United States v. Mejia, No.
93-2611, 1994 WL 243287, 1 (5th Cir. May 19, 1994) (unpublished).
To the extent Costilla argues that the district court erred in not granting
him a reduction for acceptance of responsibility, the argument is barred by the
appeal waiver in his plea agreement. See United States v. Bond, 414 F.3d 542,
544 (5th Cir. 2005).
The judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.
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